'A special person and phenomenal guy' - Hat-trick hero Maguire shoots Cork into next round
Cork City 4-2 Levadia Tallinn (Cork City win 6-2 on aggregate)
Sean Maguire was once again the hero as Cork City came back from a 2-1 half-time deficit to defeat Levadia Tallinn 4-2 last night.
That result, thanks largely to a second-half Maguire hat-trick, means the Leesiders advance to face Cypriot side AEK Larnaca.
However, John Caulfield's men will have to put in a much better performance next week to give themselves a chance of matching last year's exploits by reaching the third qualifying round.
Caulfield expects Maguire to flourish at Preston when he joins the Championship club.
"He is a special person and is a phenomenal guy. I think he will be phenomenal in Preston. He will go there in tip top form.
"He goes there for pre season after six months scoring goals and that will be a big advantage to him over there."
Evgenii Kobzar's low effort stunned the 6,314 in attendance in Cork a quarter-hour in.
Kobzar's run caught stand-in right-back Jimmy Keohane off guard, allowing the Russian to switch the ball on to his right foot and send a low, bouncing effort across Mark McNulty and into the far corner.
Karl Sheppard's equaliser from a Greg Bolger free-kick settled the nerves though, his stooping, glanced header levelling matters on 28 minutes.
There was controversy around Levadia's second goal just five minutes later, Andreev's header from a Kobzar cross coming after what appeared to be a handball in the build-up.
The hosts pulled up their socks after the interval, and it soon turned into the Maguire show.
The second period was just 36 seconds old when the striker's deft flick rolled past a stationary Sergei Lempets to even things up once again.
Maguire then went on to make history on two counts, his 86th-minute second goal, coming after he broke onto Achille Campion's knock-down, making him the club's top goalscorer in European football.
The Preston North End-bound Maguire then claimed the match ball in the 90th minute, heading home a Bolger corner to become the first Cork player to claim a hat-trick in Europe.
Cork City - M McNulty; J Keohane, C McCormack, R Delaney, K O'Connor; G Morrissey, G Bolger (A Campion 85); K Sheppard (S Beattie 68), G Buckley, S Dooley (S Griffin 78); S Maguire.
Levadia Tallinn - S Lempets; I Dudarev, A Artjunin, M Podholjuzin, A Gando; J Krznari, M Roosnupp; N Andreev, J Morelli, E Kobzar (P Marin 60); R Hunt.
REF - G Jónsson (ISL).